We are just a few days away from the end of the year, which means it it time for my overall 2019 favorite books. Before you read this one, be sure to check out my Favorite Audiobooks, My Favorite Nonfiction Books, and My Favorite New Releases of 2019. There may be some overlap, but it’s only natural that some of the books in the previous categories ended up here.
I read one-hundred and seventy-one books this year (so far), but I managed to narrow this down to my ten absolute favorites. So here are my top ten books of the year:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’ve been told for years to read this one, and I put it off because I didn’t really love The Secret History as much as everyone else seems to. So I was worried this would be another case of a book being overhyped. But it wasn’t I loved this book. I loved the writing and the story and the characters. I just really loved it. Definitely worth the six-hundred pages.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power. This was one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot of weird books). And I absolutely loved it. I’ve probably talked about this one enough, but it was brilliant. I can’t wait for Rory Power’s next book.
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie. I absolutely loved learning about Catherine the Great. She was kind of amazing and badass and I love her. A lot. I really enjoyed this biography. Easily my favorite biography of the year (I did read four, in case you were wondering). It’s right up there with Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci biography (which I really loved as well).
Gods of Jade & Shadow by Silvia Garcia-Moreno. This is another book I’ve talked a lot about this year. It is such a fun fantasy, with mystery and mythology and adventure. I’ll be honest: my expectations were pretty high for this one based on the cover alone (it’s amazing), and this book exceeded them.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This book has gotten a lot of hype this year (even though it was released last year). It was nominated for awards and was even chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Which is what got me to finally pick it up, if I’m being honest. And wow, I loved this book. It was heartbreaking and beautiful. Which I’m starting to realize is my perfect book recipe.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Probably the book that got me back into reading romance, but it was also so much different than all the other ones I read this year. I loved the romantic storyline with all the political elements. This set a very high bar for every romance book I read. And so far, nothing has been able to compete (even though I have read some I really enjoyed).
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I was very excited to pick this up after reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo last year. And honestly, I wasn’t completely in love with this book for the first half or so. But the twist towards the end absolutely destroyed me. And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book since.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. This is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read in a long time. I’ve read a lot of WWII fiction, and this might just be at the top of my list. I fell in love with the characters in this book. I loved that the story was about the aftermath of the war for nobility, which is something I haven’t seen before. I loved it, and I am excited to read more Amor Towles.
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte. As any of my friends or family, I am kind of obsessed with dinosaurs. And this is the book that started it all. This book is nonfiction, but it’s so engaging that I actually got a little bit emotional when the dinosaurs died. Which I knew was coming, obviously.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is my favorite book of the year. I’m just as surprised as anyone that I loved a thousand-page historical novel about a cathedral. But I did. And I am strongly considering adding another Ken Follett book to my 2020 TBR (even though I’m pretty sure they’re all just as long as this one).
That’s it for my 2019 favorites! I’ve read so many great books this year. It was a difficult to narrow it down, but I ultimately went with the books I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.
What was your favorite book this year?